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Remembering tragedy of Soviet invasion

On Jan. 19-20, 1990, Azerbaijan was invaded by 26,000 Soviet troops. After blowing up the national television transmission, blocking and imposing an immediate informational blockade on the entire republic, the Red Army rolled itstanks through the streets of Azeri, capital Baku, indiscriminately firing at everything that moved. The official count puts the death toll at 140 civilians killed, with over 700 wounded. The images of streets full of massacred civilians were reminiscent of the Red Army’s crimes perpetrated against civilians in Budapest in 1956 and Prague in 1968. In a report titled “Black January in Azerbaijan,” Human Rights Watch stated that the violence used by the Soviet Army constituted an “exercise in collective punishment.”

The investigation revealed that in their pursuit for higher casualties, the Red Army used the 5.45 mm bullets with the shifted center of gravity, which upon entering the body spirals through the organs, causing excessive pain and internal bleeding, thus increasing chances of death.

Myself and my family are joining the U.S. Azeris Network (USAN) in commemorating the tragedy and its victims and ask for your support by also commemorating the victims with a minute of silence and statement for the record, just like some state legislatures have done before.

Sumer Aygen, Marco Island

Opposing facility for many reasons

Both my husband and I are very opposed to the proposed Watermark assisted living facility on Marco Island for many reasons, including:

  • Living here 17 years, we came from somewhere else, just like almost everyone else here. When we need an assisted living facility, we will not stay here. We will go to where we came from, where our family lives, to make it easier on them. How many people from Marco Island do you really think are going to use this place? Not many.
  • What is happening to the NCH Healthcare System’s medical facility that we use? Is that being torn down? It certainly looks like it in the projected picture in the Eagle. All the more reason we don’t need this assisted living facility, but we do need the NCH, where helicopters land and take us to Naples in an emergency rather than going by ambulance.
  • This assisted living facility is making Marco less and less appealing to people wanting to buy and no question our value of a small, island town will go down, but somebody (who?) will be prospering nicely. The reasons we bought here are quickly disappearing lately.
  • The fire and police departments and city hall will be right across the street. Do the patients/residents at the assisted living facility want all of those sirens going on all of the time? Is that healthy for older, ailing people? Next you will be moving the fire and police departments.
  • Why can’t this be put on the ballot in November?

I voted for city Councilor Erik Brechnitz, who said he was not for growth and he would do what is right. I hope he can now tell me what his opinion is and how he is voting.

Norma Nero, Marco Island

Consider others, don’t smoke on beach

To address the article, “Should smoking be banned on the sand,” and subsequent letters, especially regarding the recent letter that notes “smoking does no harm to anyone except the smoker,” perhaps a few scenarios would assist. Picture the smoker putting up his beach chair right beside a young child with asthma and what that smoke may trigger for the child. Picture someone beside this smoker with an incurable lung disease who has come to the beach to enjoy a respite from treatment and the joy of the fresh beach air. What about the families who bring their young grandchildren to the New Year’s fireworks who have to endure so many disgusting cigar smokers? Do those who think that their smoke does no harm to anyone but the smoker simply deny the inherent smell and harm of second hand smoke? I have a friend who says our culture is often permeated with an “it’s all about me” perspective rather than “it could be about the other.”

Diane D. Aronson, Naples

 

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